Robotic roll-out of an antenna — part of a low-frequency array of radio antennas. CREDIT: Joe Lazio/JPL

Laura Kruger, a student from NLSI’s LUNAR team, and two engineering students from the University of Idaho have been working on getting NASA’s K10 rover to deploy a polyimide antenna. This polyimide antenna work is in preparation for a telerobotics test that will be done with the crew aboard the ISS next summer.

The crew will teleoperate the K10 rover from the ISS and remotely deploy the antenna prototype at NASA Ames, inspect the antenna, and deal with pre-programmed problems/flaws in the deployment & film.

The goal is to simulate a possible future mission involving astronauts aboard NASA’s Orion crew vehicle traveling to the L2 Earth-Moon Lagrange point, which sit 65,000 km above the lunar farside. From L2, astronauts would control a lander/rover on the farside to deploy a lunar telescope. The concept of polyimide film antennas is described in a paper which appeared in Advances in Space Research late last year.


Students attach the polyimide film to the K10 Rover. Credit: Kruger/NASA

The team has been working with Terry Fong, Director of the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA Ames Research Center. This activity was funded by the NASA Technology Demonstration Missions (TDM) program, Office of the Chief Technologist, and will continue with Colorado students into the Fall. Engineers in the Intelligent Robotics Group will be conducting a public demonstration at the upcoming International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) event on September 22, 2012.


Students with K10 Rover. Left to right: Laura Kruger (University of Colorado/Boulder), Sophie Milam (University of Idaho), and George Korbel (University of Idaho). Credit: Kruger/NASA


NASA’s K10 rover with a deployed polyimide antenna. Credit: Kruger/NASA

About InOMN
The International Observe the Moon Night consists of scientists, educators, and Moon enthusiasts from government, non-profit organizations, and businesses throughout the United States and across the globe gathering under the inspirational power of the Moon — a celestial body that has influenced human lives since the dawn of time. International Observe the Moon Night has created the opportunity for people to take notice of the Moon’s beauty and share that experience with one another. Through International Observe the Moon Night, we hope to instill in the public a sense of wonderment and curiosity about our Moon. Our partnerships enable us to stay up to date with the latest and greatest scientific discoveries about Earth’s nearest neighbor, and we strive to bring those discoveries to the public.
For more information on InOMN, visit: http://observethemoonnight.org

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: NLSI Team

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